GHC Celebrates Pride

Posted on: Jun, 10, 2022

Grays Harbor College Logo

During the month of June, Grays Harbor College celebrates Pride Month and honors the contributions that LGBTQIA+ individuals have made to our community and society.

Pride Month is nationally recognized as a time to celebrate the resilience, perseverance, and freedom of members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Pride celebrations, like GHC’s Chalk it Up for Pride, are dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ voices, celebrating LGBTQIA+ culture, and learning LGBTQIA+ history. This month, the Spellman Library’s Blog features a selection of reading on LGBTQIA+ history, resources for youth, reflections on identities, and more. 

As we celebrate Pride, we have the opportunity to reflect on the courage that the LGBTQIA+ community has shown in the face of centuries of overt oppression, which for many, has been compounded due to other forms of oppression, such as racism and ableism. 

In 1966, at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, a group of trans women fought back against ongoing police violence. Although this event tends to be overlooked, the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot marked a pivotal point in the LGBTQIA+ rights movement.  Across the country in New York City, it was still illegal to serve alcohol to a gay person. As a result, places like the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village, saw regular confrontations with the police and tensions were rising. In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, patrons rose up against a police raid. Over the next six days, thousands joined in the resistance against the ongoing police mistreatment, discrimination, and unjust and oppressive anti-LGBTQIA+ laws.

Just a few weeks after the Stonewall Uprising, new LGBTQIA+ organizations and media outlets were created. The following year, on June 28, 1970, activists in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago marched through their cities, commemorating the Stonewall Uprising and celebrating the vision for sexual and gender liberation.

Pride marches soon began taking place annually throughout the country (not yet called “Pride Parades” because of the ongoing legal and social marginalization that members of the LGBTQIA+ community faced). Washington State’s first Pride march took place in Seattle in 1974, on the fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Today, more than fifty years later, the U.S. celebrates Pride with more than 115 Pride Parades and six million participants every year.

This month and every month, Grays Harbor College stands in support of our LGBTQIA+ community. We appreciate the college community’s commitment to creating a safe space that cultivates opportunities to promote justice, diversity, equity, and a sense of belonging for all.